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iPads are quite secure as devices go. Your iPad can withstand most attempts to physically access your data. When connected to the Internet, there is iPad VPN software that can secure your Internet traffic. Just follow the general instructions for securing the device and install a VPN for online security.
Securing the Physical Device with Passcodes and Remote Data Wipe
The iPad is one of the most secure computing devices. The hardware and software security put into the iPad give it the potential to be as secure as a computer, if not more secure. The first thing to set up on an iPad is remote data wiping and encryption. If your iPad gets stolen, Remote Wipe will allow you to erase all the data on the device as soon as it connects to the Internet. Remote Data Wipe is fairly simple. If you have a MobileMe account, enable Find My iPad under Contacts, Calendars in the Mail Settings.
To enable the iPad’s integrated encryption capabilities, you only need to set your iPad passcode. The Passcode Lock settings are under General Settings. It is just a four-digit code, so it’s not extremely secure. You are better off not using the Simple Passcode option. Longer codes are more secure. Pick a code that cannot be related to you in some way, a random sequence that is not a combination of birthdays or equivalent to a word that can be spelled on your keypad. As soon as you save your passcode, the data stored on the device will be encrypted and unreadable. This includes any apps you have installed. Then you should also check that the Require Password is set to a maximum of 15 minutes.
Next, check that Erase Data is turned On. This will erase the iPad encryption key so that no one can get the key that decodes your data. It would be safer, of course, to erase the data itself, but this could take a long time. Erasing the encryption key is faster. Anyway, it would also take a long time and a powerful computer for someone to crack the code. Codes can be bypassed by jailbreaking the device, though, so the Data Protection feature should be enabled. This feature cannot be disabled by jailbreaking. Data Protection encrypts email messages and attachments and apps in the development stage. Not all iPads can be jailbroken, but it’s best to secure the device. You never know when the next jailbreak will come out.
For the most enhanced level of protection, use the iPhone Configuration Utility under the Configuration Profile. It was really created for business management of iOS devices, but adds security features that anyone can take advantage of. To set this up, tap New and choose a Passcode from the list. Be careful because any settings made here will override previous iPad settings. When you are done adjusting the settings, fill in the name and identifier of the profile on the General tab too. If you are the only one with access to the device, set the Security drop-down to Always so you can modify the profile. If shared, set it to Never or With Authorization which is password-protected. To install the profile, tap Share, wait for the email, and open the attachment with the Install link. You can also export and download it, then install with Safari.
Securing Your Internet with an iPad VPN
With the above settings, your device will be secure from anyone with physical access to the device. But cracking your iPad through the Internet is a different story. Your iPad is only as secure as your network connection. The most widely used tool for preventing malware infection and online data theft is a VPN. You can use pre-configured VPN software from a VPN provider, or configure a VPN yourself. Newer iPads will have this option, and your VPN provider will provide step-by-step instructions for how to get it set up.
Once you have your VPN installed and running, it will protect your data and traffic. When the VPN is turned on and you have successfully connected to a VPN server, all your device’s interactions via the Internet will be passed through a private tunnel to the VPN server. This tunnel hides your data from everyone else. The data you send will also be encrypted so that in case your connection fails, the data will remain safe. Traffic is also encrypted, so any application you use over the Internet is safe. This means VoIP connections are protected, including Skype, and basically every other software you use that communicates via the Internet.
At the VPN server level, you get an anonymous IP address and malware protection. The VPN server will route all your traffic via one of their IP addresses. This prevents tracking and attempts to breach the device using the information available with your ISP assigned IP address. As an anonymous user, your activities will not be monitored or connected to you. Malware is everywhere on the Internet, so the VPN server is a very good shield for your device.
Email services are not always secure, so even if your emails and attachments are encrypted by your iPad, they may not be safe once they reach the service. If you suspect that your provider is leaking data to outsiders, consider switching email services to one with stricter user privacy policies.
Siri may be very helpful, but this smart personal assistant may be causing a leak. This happens when you have set certain functions so that Siri bypasses your lock screen security. This can allow a thief or hacker to call, text and email from your iPad, and to access other data without entering your security code. But you can block Siri from allowing strangers to access your iPad data. Under the Passcode Lock Menu under General Settings, simply turn off the option to allow access to Siri when locked with a passcode.